Marketing Strategies

How SEO helps online betting operators achieve growth

Throughout its history, Fortis Media has developed an experienced set of skills concerning a specific niche: the online betting industry.

Our company has partnered with several relevant brands on the market, helping them to increase their online influence and raise their ranks in their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Therefore, we consider pertinent the development of this white paper, through which we analyze the performance of the most popular online betting brands in the United States on SERPs.

This analysis is the result of extensive research and our company’s interest in developing ties with the betting industry.

By sharing our knowledge and findings, we believe we can help our current and future clients to understand how keywords can oscillate in relevance due to numerous factors.

Our research also intends to underline the importance of developing a strong SEO strategy implemented by professionals in the field.

Brief History of Online Betting in the U.S.A.

Gambling was always an attractive market in the United States. Sports events were part of this and there was no shortage of scandals, like the Black Sox one in 1919. Athletes, coaches, and sports commissioners were overall worried about the integrity of the games.

With the popularity of the internet increasing in the early 90s, several operators turned to online markets and the alarm went off.

In January 1993, The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) became active, forbidding citizens or states from engaging in sports betting.

Despite this law, there were 3 states who could still operate under specific legislation: Nevada (where Las Vegas is located), Oregon, and Montana.

This law lasted until 2018, when the Supreme Court voted to vacate the PASPA, allowing states to take the decision into internal scrutiny. Since then, there have been several states taking legislation into a debate, with some having already sports betting bills passed: like New Jersey and Mississippi.

Despite the possibility of legalization, states are still threatened by illegal markets. Illegal operators are more likely to provide attractive odds and come up with alluring promotions. Mostly, because they don’t need to take part of their revenue to pay taxes.

According to Forbes, that is why there is an incentive on states to keep tax rates low for legal gambling providers: this way it will be easier to put illegal operators out of the market.

In the long run, this system will bring more profits, both to the legal betting brands, as well as to the state who repels the ones operating outside the law.

Map of the Regulated US States in Betting
Credits: OnlineCasinosElite.org

Brands Under Analysis

For research purposes and analyzing the influence of SEO factors into SERPs ranks, we chose to analyze the top 5 betting brands currently ranking in the U.S. for the keyword “betting online”.

These operators are MyBookie, Bovada, FanDuel, DraftKings and BetOnline.

MyBookie ranks 1st for the keyword ‘betting online’ right now. They are an online gaming brand created in 2014, offering hundreds of online casino games. MyBookie describes itself as a pioneer in improving services where other brands failed.

One may have noticed that MyBookie has a .ag domain, from Antigua and Barbuda. They profit from the Free Trade & Processing Act that the Caribbean country legislated in 1994, shortly after the PASPA became active in the U.S.

This Act allows organizations to apply to open online casinos, thus creating a loophole for online brands to keep operating in markets where gambling is not completely legalized. MyBookie’s headquarters are currently located in San Jose, Costa Rica.

BetOnline also has a .ag domain, operating under those circumstances too. The location which they currently operate in Panama City, Panama.

They have existed since 1991 and they offer the opportunity of betting in several sports, having their own stats center to help betting enthusiasts decide who to gamble on.

Meanwhile, Bovada is in Quebec, Canada, and was born nearly two decades ago, although they changed from Bodog to Bovada in December 2011.

They are the only online sportsbook that is exclusive to US residents and they do not allow client accounts from states which have uncertain jurisdictions on iGaming, like Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, and New Jersey.

FanDuel and DraftKings are different kinds of betting sites than the two previously mentioned. They offer fantasy leagues in NFL, soccer, basketball, and other team sports.

However, FanDuel also has a sportsbook and horse racing pages. FanDuel was created in 2009 and operates in New York, NY, USA, and has a second office in Edinburgh (Scotland).

Created in 2012, DraftKings is their main competitor. They launched their sportsbook in 2018 and have 8 million users. DraftKings is located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan has been one of the investors since September 2020.

This white paper is purely for research purposes. Fortis Media is not affiliated with any of the brands and does not intend to promote them.

Whether the named brands operate under legal or illegal terms is also not relevant for this paper.

Keyword Volume

“Betting Online” is one of the most popular betting keywords in the US. The average number of monthly searches in the past year was 201000. In October 2019 it had about 250k monthly searches.

In 2020 this number started to drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching 135k in March 2020.  Search volume started to grow back in the Summer and in September there were 301k searches.

Monthly Searches for Betting Online

SERP – First View

SERP betting online keyword search

By analyzing the aforementioned search result page of Google for the keyword betting online we can acknowledge that:

  • The first three results have sitelinks.
  • The first two results have sports events snippets.
  • The first result is the product snippet – it has reviews, ratings, and prices.
  • The first result is shown with the site logo.

The SERP additionally contains a “People also ask” featured snippet with frequently asked questions, answers and URL’s from where they were taken.

At first glance, we can see that only the first two pages have structured data.

The most interesting thing that we can see from SERP is that the first result is marked as a product, something quite uncommon for betting sites.

However, since it is working, it should increase CTR (click-through rate).

Meta-Titles & Descriptions

One of the factors that influence the click-through rate on search engines the meta-titles and descriptions. These are the HTML attributes that show the title and a brief synopsis of the website content.

Here are the meta-titles and descriptions of the betting brands homepages under analysis:

MyBookie

Title – Sportsbook, Sports Betting Odds Site | Bet Online Vegas Style Sportsbook

Description – Welcome to MyBookie Sportsbook & Casino | Join 2020 America’s most Trusted Sportsbook & Bet America’s Favorite Sporting Pastimes Online with players from around the world with odds on all of the Best Sporting Events. MyBookie the Sportsbook you can Trust.

Bovada

Title – Online Sports Betting – Bet on Sports Online | Bovada Sportsbook

Description – Online Sports Betting – Bet on Sports Online Bovada Sportsbook

BetOnline

Title – Sports Betting & Online Betting at BetOnline Sportsbook

Description – BetOnline brings you the best in online sports betting, providing the latest and best odds on all sports. Bet with BetOnline Sportsbook today.

FanDuel

Title –  SportsBook – Legal Online Sports Betting – FanDuel

Description –  New FanDuel Sportsbook customers can enjoy their first bet risk-free up to $1000 when you sign up today! FanDuel Sportsbook features bets on all major U.S. sports, including professional football, soccer, basketball, baseball, golf, boxing, motorsports racing, and more

DraftKings

Title –  Sportsbook, Sports Betting Odds Site | Bet Online Vegas Style

Description – View the latest odds and bet online legally, securely, and easily with the top-rated sportsbook. Place a bet now!

All the pages except DraftKings are using “Online Betting” keywords in meta titles. It does not make any big difference if keyword words are next to each other or not. Keyword usage in the meta title is one of the most important ranking factors.

The DraftKings are using “bet online” instead, but it has a similar effect because Google understands “bet” and “betting” words as synonymous.

There are three pages that have the keyword in meta description – MyBookie, BetOnline, and DraftKings. Bovada meta description is the same as the meta title.

Google doesn’t show it and uses random text from the website. This really doesn’t help for the CTR.

MyBookie and FanDuel meta description is about two times longer than the max possible length so Google cuts them in SERP.

In conclusion, keyword usage in the meta description is not as important as meta title, but the inclusion of keywords still helps to get more clicks from Google.

Structured Data

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. For example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on.

As one can witness from analyzing the 5 pages, MyBookie and Bovada are the only pages that have structured data. However, structured data isn’t a ranking factor.

Still, it does help communicate on-page content factors like the events that are the subject of the page. So, it’s important to consider adding relevant structured data to the page.

mybookie.ag Structured Data

As we mentioned before, MyBookie is using structured data as a product. Online betting is not an actual product and it shouldn’t be marked like this by Google rules.

We can say that this is grey SEO – a tactic that is driving results, but it’s a bit risky.

In conclusion, structured data helps to communicate what the webpage is about, and it can indirectly lead to better rankings. DraftKings and FanDuel are really missing Event structured data.

Content & Keywords

MyBookie Bovada BetOnline Fanduel DraftKings
Total word count 4300 197 300 172 270
“Online betting” keyword in the content 3 42 1 13 32
“Betting” keyword in the content 27 1 6 0 0
H1 headings 2 0 0 0 0
H2 Headings 14 0 1 0 0
Content-Type Events & Long Text Events Short Text Events Events

MyBookie

  • It has the most content (4300 words in total)
  • The “Online betting” keyword is mentioned 3 times
  • “Online” is mentioned 27 times, “betting” – 34 times
  • It has text with features and a post briefs section with 6 expert opinions
  • It has the biggest events list with featured lines and betting odds
  • The only page which has h1 headings, but it should have only one H1, there are two now

 Bovada, FanDuel, and DraftKings

  • There are only 200 – 400 words on the page in total.
  • There is no description or any additional text, just events with betting odds
  • There is no “online betting” keyword in-content
  • Bovada has one “betting” keyword
  • These pages don’t have any headings

BetOnline

  • It only has 300 words in total.
  • There are no events with odds
  • It has some text, but it is very small compared to
  • “Online betting” keyword is mentioned one time, “betting” – 6 times.
  • Doesn’t have an H1 heading, only H2, and H3

MyBookie is well optimized – they use “online betting” keywords in-content, while other pages mostly do not.

Therefore, there is a huge content gap for 2 – 5 position pages compared to MyBookie. Their competitors do not use any text, or it is very short, and they are missing H1 headings.

Page Speed

MyBookie Bovada BetOnline Fanduel DraftKings
PageSpeed Mobile score 61 14 25 5 11
PageSpeed Desktop score 91 42 84 13 32
Page Size 760kb 658kb 1.3mb 1.8mb 2.7mb
Requests 49 28 127 49 103

As we can see from the table MyBookie landing page is best optimized for mobile and desktop versions and the desktop version has a high score in most of the Google PageSpeed Insights audits.

Looking at how much content this page has compared to the other sites, these results are surprising. One would think that the loading speed would be compromised with all the added content, but it seems it’s the opposite way.

Page size is also one of the smallest compared to other sites. A well-optimized loading speed has a huge impact on ranking in 1st position.

Then we mention page speed. The most important thing is not about beating the competitors by a few milliseconds.

It’s more about making sure that the page is fast enough and is not having a negative impact on the user’s experience.   According to research conducted by Pingdom, 38% of the users will leave the page if it takes more than 5 seconds to load

MyBookie really puts some effort into giving an enjoyable experience to the user.

Web Page Load Speed vs Bounce Rate
Credits: Pingdom.com

HTTPS

HTTPS improves security for visitors by encrypting data between browsers and servers. Unencrypted pages now show a “Not secure” warning in Chrome when you visit them.

In 2014, Google announced HTTPS as a ranking factor. Since then, Google has upped its commitment to HTTPS, and now shows a “Not secure” warning in Chrome when you visit an unencrypted page.

Uncrypted page mybookie.ag

That’s a quick and easy win step, which almost all the websites nowadays are using.  These 5 pages we are analyzing all pass this test.

Mobile Version

About two-thirds of searches in 2020 are taken on mobile and there is no surprise that Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor for mobile searches in 2015.

Later, in July 2019, when Google moved to mobile-first indexing, they made it a ranking factor for desktop searches too.

That is why the mobile version is a must-have thing for every site.

Each page competing by keyword “betting online” has a mobile-friendly version. Our best-rated page would be MyBookie once again. It has the best functionalities and user interface.

MyBookie Mobile Layout

Off-site SEO

Off-Site SEO statistics

  • Majestic shows that BetOnline has the biggest amount of referring domains, but it is only ranking in the third position
  • MyBookie has the lowest Trust Flow but ranks in 1stposition
  • MyBookie has a big gap comparing its own Citation Flow and Trust Flow metrics, it shows that backlink quality is worse compared to other pages.

Based on metrics alone it’s hard to figure out why MyBookie outranks BetOnline and FanDuel.

It has fewer backlinks, fewer referring domains, lower TF or CF scores. The first result shouldn’t outrank others. It’s weaker in every traditional SEO sense.

Nonetheless, the reason behind this is that it has more backlinks from similar niches. Backlinks not only increase page authority but also help Google understand what they’re about.

Conclusion

After analyzing these 5 brands, we can conclude that MyBookie has put the effort to outrank its competitors in the organic search of SERPs.

MyBookie has about 4 times fewer referring domains compared to the BetOnline and worse Citation Flow and Trust Flow ratio. Still, the page is very well optimized for search engines compared to the competitors. It has tons of content, great keyword usage, and optimized page speed.

It looks like only MyBookie has really done a good job concerning their On-site SEO. Other competitors just did the basics – created good meta titles and meta descriptions.

There are around 200+ ranking factors and we just named a few of the most important ones. The most essential steps are the following:

  • Give searchers what they are looking for, visitors should enjoy being on the site.
  • Regularly updated content when it’s needed.
  • Get high authority backlinks from your niche.
  • The site should look authentic, be fast, and secure.
  • Build expertise in one topic, not everything.

And yes, this advice is not new. However, the main key is to have the knowledge to implement all these things and keep constantly making the necessary updates.

*After we made this analysis, BetOnline released the beta version of their new page https://beta.betonline.ag/ and redirects to it from the old page. It has a new design, there are some content differences, but meta tags are the same as before and it is still doesn’t have any table with events. They’re still staying in 3rd position by “betting online” keyword in US Google SERP.

Marketing Strategies

Why TikTok Should Be Included In Your Digital Marketing Strategy

TikTok calls itself thdestination for shortformobile videos.” The videos are often short, averaging 15 seconds, although the platform launched 10 min videos in Marc2022.

Despite only becoming mainstream everywhere in 2018, TikTok was created two years before, in 2016, by the Chinese company ByteDance. Although it was initially planned to be focused only on the Chinese audience, the founder of the company, Zhang Yiming acknowledged the need for international expansion.

According to him “China is home to only one-fifth of Internet users globally. If we don’t expand on a global scale, we are bound to lose to peers eyeing the four-fifths. So, going global is a must”.

In 2017, TikTok intelligently merged with another popular app, Musical.ly, which already allowed lip-syncing and had a rising fan base, especially amongst the younger audience, and consolidated into one app, adding the existing accounts to the platform.

About TikTok

TikTok has risen in popularity in the last years, especially throughout the pandemic and it has naturally been named the fastest-growing social media platform of all time. It is not difficult to understand why, as the numbers will show you.

The platform is used for entertaining content mostly – dancchallenges, and lipsynching, but also for educational subjects, where people discuss complex topics like investments, healthcare, etc.

As happens with all social media platforms, marketers soon discovered the ad reach potential of TikTok. In this article, we put together some data that shows why you should consider TikTok in your digital marketing strategies and which are the most popular formats to target audiences.

Before, let’s look at some curiosities about the app.

Interesting Facts​ About TikTok

1. TikTok started to skyrocket during the Covid19 outbreak and still is growing globally

In 2019, the time spent on TikTok was a mammoth​ 68 billion hours. However, in March 2020 and throughout the biggest part of that year and the year that followed, COVID-19 forced people to stay in confinement in their residences, isolated from family and friends. As many businesses struggled, TikTok soared.

Throughout March 2020,  the average U.S. visitor was using the TikTok app for 858 minutes (14 hours and 18 minutes)

And perhaps you might think the app was only used for infinite scrolling and to make silly comedy videos and dances, but it also had informational value.

According to Adam M. Ostrovsky and Joshua R. Chen, from the Pennsylvania State University, TikTok had a massive impact on spreading health advice regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the researchers found that videos with the hashtags “covid-19,” “covid19,” and “coronavirus” have reached 4.4 billion, 33.3 billion, and 93.1 billion views, respectively.

Of these videos, 6.33% were produced by actual healthcare professionals, and 15.66% of videos communicated pragmatic health information. Only 0.66% were related to misleading or inaccurate medical advice.

It is estimated that by the end of 2022, the number of TikTok users worldwide will be 755 million people. Statista also predicts that by 2025 955.3 million people will be using TikTok.

TikTok recording

2. TikTok is expected to surpass Snapchat in 2023/2025 across Gen Z 

Being already the biggest age user base, Gen Z became even more into TikTok in 2020, due to schools and colleges being closed down. The Kantar “COVID-19 Barometer discovered that between March and April 2020, usage of TikTok was up 33% for Gen Z respondents and 27% for millennials.

Such rapid growth among Gen Z Tiktok is expected to surpass Snapchat, which is still the most popular social media platform across this segment, by 2025.

And it’s not only Gen Z, but also even younger audiences are now more and more on TikTok. In 2020kids aged between 415 spentan average of 75 minutes dailyglobally watchinTikTok videos.

In the US, this number is even higher —87 minutes. This means you can easily sharcontent with audiences younger than Gen Z.

Time kids spent on TikTok

3. TikTok pushed businesses and people to be more creative

According to the State of Mobile 2022 report from Data.ai, “consumer spending on TikTok increased 77% in 2021. Overall, users spent $2.3 billion on the app, compared to $1.3 billion the year before.

Therefore, this platform can not be ignored by marketers, as it has enormous revenue potential. Though, with its very specific format and limited time span, TikTok is often misunderstood.

It forces businesses that wanted to market their products on their platform to come out of their comfort zones and condense information into a very minimalistic and straight-to-the-point concept.

The TikTok algorithm does favor quality content, so it will award businesses whose marketing ideas are engaging, likable, and relatable. Companies need to jump on trends before it’s too late but without trying to copy or take the spotlight of the actual content creators.

@cocacola #ad Sharing our magic through @jalaiahharmon dc!✨ #ShareTheMagic @yasminheroo @davidvooo ♬ Open – Khalid feat. Majid Jordan

4. TikTok influencers could be more costeffective to reach new people than the TikTok ads platform

Regards, Tik Tok influencer marketing, TikTok is the mostcosteffectivwayto spread awareness for businesses.

In 2021 the total number of views of sponsored videos was over 1.3 billion, with the average views per video being 508k.

There are TikTok creators that have up to100 million followersanearn around $5 million a year.

Currently, the most followed Tik Tok account is Khaby Lame. The Italian-Senegalese comedian became the most followed account in September 2022, with 149.1 million followers, surpassing Charli D’Amelio (with 145.3 mln). Right now, Khaby has an estimated net worth of $13 million USD.

khaby

How popular is TikTok?

  • 1 Billion Monthly Active Users Worldwide

There are 8 new customers are joining TikTok every second,​ with an average of 650,00 new users joining daily.​

  • 6th​ most popular social media network

Currently, TikTok sits at number 6th as the most popular social media network worldwide. Facebook sits at the top, followed by YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, and WeChat. TikTok has already surpassed Facebook Messenger in the number of monthly active users.

  • It took TikTok only years​ to reach 1 billion users 

It is no surprise the app is known to be the fastest-growing ever, as it achieved 1 billion users in just 3 years. The bookmark number was celebrated in September 2021. For comparison, it took Instagram 8 years to achieve the same number of users.

@tiktok✨ 1 billion✨ people on TikTok! Thank you to our global community ♬ original sound – TikTok

  • A user spends 52 minutes a day on average on TikTok

Not only that, but according to TheSocialShepherd, the average person opens TikTok 19 times per day.

TikTok Usability And Demographics

TikTok has been downloaded 3 billion times, with 383 million installs in the first half of 2020. The app was downloaded 693 million times in 2019 & 850 million times in 2020.

TikTok downloads

With 1 billion active userby the third quarter of 2021, TikTok became the fastest-growing app ever. Right now, out of 4.8 billion internet userworldwide, 20.83% use TikTok.

Plus, TikToks had a1157.76% increasein its global user base in 2 years (between Jan 2018 and July 2020).

TikTok Users

​Most TikTok users also use other social media platforms. In fact, only 0.1% of users are unique to the app and do not use other social media networks. 85% of TikTok users also use Facebook, while 84% use Instagram and 81% on Youtube.

This data underlines the importance of spreading the message on different social media platforms, in order to increase its reach.

Social Media Platform Audience Overlaps

Demographics

Available in 154 countries, the highest usability of TikTok is in Asia. Right now, the app is available in 85% of countries around the globe.

While the app’s largest audience lives in the USA, Indonesia is surprisingly second, followed by Brazil and Russia.

Country Users TikTok

Concerning the age of TikTokers, 47% of the users​ have in the age group of 10 to 29 (2021).

There are more women than men in TikTok: 56% are female and 44% are male. In fact, 24% of TikToks global audience arwomen 182years, whilst males same age are at 18%.

Distribution of TikTok users worldwide

TikTok Users By Age

​What Is TikTok Marketing?

So, how to choose a social media marketing agency that includes TikTok in its agenda? And why you should do that?

TikTok started running Ads in early 2019 and since then brands like Nike and Apple Music have used the platform to promote their products with unique entertaining ads.

The launch in-app shopping feature of TikTok, added in 2021, became essential to brands looking to connect directly to customers.

TikTok Ads start at $10 CPM,$1 Cost-Per-Click and a $500 minimum monthly spend.

TikTok Revenue

How Do TikTok Ads CompartOther Platforms?

As we can see from the data below, TikTok has an average CPC that is less expensive than Instagram and Linkedin. It is also one of the cheapest mainstream social media networks regarding the average CPM, with half the price of Facebook and also behind Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter.

How Do TikTok Ads Compare to Other Platforms

The app also has a tremendous reach and therefore it can not be overlooked or frowned upon by marketers. Professionals in this area can reachroughly 12.2%of all the peopleon Earth using ads on TikTok today.

TikTok Ad reach ranking

Most popular industries

Based on a money.co.uk investigation the most popular sector for businesses across TikTok is beauty, following fashion.

TikTok Likes Small Businesses

Looking at TikTok content categories overall we can see that entertainment, dance, and pranks are taking the top positions. Therefore, it is common to see brands adapting to these formats or collaborating with influencers that are known for being popular in these categories.

Top 10 TikTok Content Categories

New Feature To Look Forward

Being fully aware of its potential, TikTok is launching a new tool for advertising. TikTok Pulse  is  a  new  contextual  advertising  solution  that  ensures brands’ ads are placed next to the top 4% of all videos on TikTok”

TikTok Pulse was launched in June 2022 for US advertisers. Creators and publishers with at least 100,000 followers on TikTok are eligible for the 50/50 split revenue share program.

The purpose is to attract more creators to the app and to ensure a more “brand-safe” environment.

TikTok Pulse

Final Thoughts

As an emerging platform that is captivating and easily accessible, TikTok should not be neglected by digital and content marketers. This social media network does bring some additional challenges to advertisers in order to get their message through, but since it cuts to the chase it is easier to get the message across to the customer.

According to TikTok itself, 63% of all successful ads with the highest click-through rate (CTR) highlight their key message or product within the first 3 seconds. Therefore, it is crucial to produce content that immediately catches the attention and puts the client’s product on center stage.

Plus, for marketers, it is important to know that the platform is aware of its ad potential and trying to find directions to facilitate, content creation, development, and targeting for marketers. We can see that through initiatives like TikTok Pulse, but also by the variety of options when it comes to ad creation.

The creative marketer can work with in-feed ads, brand takeover ads, and branded hashtag ads. With a plethora of options, there is no excuse to not enter the TikTok boom.

SEO Tips

Which SEO Factors Have the Highest Impact on Ranking?

Many brands and digital marketers seek to know which factors have the highest impact on search engine rankings. In fact, it’s very difficult to come up with a specific list of key factors, as they keep varying and are influenced by updates from Google and social media networks.

Besides, it always depends on which industry you are aiming to rank for. If you are seeking for higher rankings in casino SEO the factors that are going to be of relevance to your strategy might be different if you have a clothing brand website.

With Fortis Media’s expertise and the tools we have within our reach we conducted an in-depth analysis to come up with the best ranking factors and also show some data that can help you take decisions when choosing in which direction to take your SEO strategy.

In January 2021 we conducted an analysis for a leading US horse racing company to identify, which factors have the highest impact on Google rankings. Therefore, the data presented in this article is immensely more relevant if you represent a horse racing brand or you are interested in learning the ranking aspects that define this industry.

We used a novel approach using Machine Learning and decided to share some of our findings in this report. As part of the research, we also did Exploratory Data Analysis, T-test, Cohen’s D, and Regression Analysis (Linear and Logistic).

This was done by collecting top 100 ranking positions for 2907 keywords, which resulted in 274 952 data points. The data was further enriched by third-party suppliers such as Majestic and Semrush for domain-level metrics. We started with 95 variables: 79 from data suppliers and 16 new variables as part of this analysis.

The following is some important advice to digital marketing specialists and also to companies curious about how SEO works, which comes from the extensive research and analysis performed.

Note: Analyzing one company in a particular industry and time frame shows results most relevant to those limitations. This means that if we change the company and the industry, the results may vary.

1. Article Titles Should Be Similar To Search Queries You’re Trying To Rank For

Assuming causality Search Query and Title Similarity is an important ranking factor, having more targeted articles with Titles that are close to the target queries could improve ranking, rather than having broad titles and articles.

All analysis methods agree that Search Query and Title Similarity Index are most closely associated with the ranking position. Search Query and Title Similarity Index as a variable penalizes Titles that are long but contain all the Search Query terms, meaning that Titles that are succinct and on the topic tend to be associated with higher ranking values.

This does not consider semantic mapping that might be happening on Google’s side where different words are treated as synonyms.

2. Search Query and Description Relevance Rank Are Not So Important

Search Query and Description Relevance Rank were the least impactful ranking factors (while statistically significant in the regression analysis).

It could be that Google in some cases chooses a description based on the user query, which might distort the results, it’s also possible that the method to catch relevance used in this analysis is deficient.

3. Building a strong portfolio of external backlinks is essential

Both Regression analyses and ML approaches showed External Backlinks to be an important ranking factor.

Before modeling in regression analyses, External Backlinks had to be log-transformed for any meaningful association could be discerned, meaning that for External Backlinks – one unit of increase in ranking is a factor of 10 increase External Backlinks.

For example, assuming for one increase in rank from the current rank it requires 100 extra External Backlinks, the subsequent increase from the new level – it would require 1000 extra External Backlinks.

There is a decrease in the effectiveness of each new External Backlink creates as the total portfolio of External Backlinks increases.

Having the largest External Backlinks portfolio does not guarantee top ranking as shown in the Bivariate Analysis section, one way to look at it could be that having a good External Backlinks portfolio is a necessary but not sufficient condition for high ranking.

4. Social media domains tend to cluster around the 10th position

This analysis found that the largest mean External Backlinks values are at position ~10. After a deeper investigation, it was identified that this pattern is mostly driven by social media websites.

They tend to cluster around the 10th position, especially youtube.com, which on its’ own takes ~10% of all results for position 10.

5. Pay extra attention to the Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio

Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio showed up as an important ranking factor in the ML model section. The ideal value should be between 0.5 and 1.5.

Investigating the variable’s relationship with ranking in isolation, the mean value tends to shoot up for top ranking positions, while staying rather steady for the rest of the positions.

The ML modeling section displayed a penalty for domains with low Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio, while hovering around zero above a certain threshold.

As with other variables, there could be some other confounding factors – one way to interpret the results is that domains with a higher Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio tend to have a better External Backlink portfolio.

Ranking Overview

This section reviews the patterns between ranking and a selected set of potential explanatory variables, investigating the type of relationship (linear or non-linear) and outliers.

Selected on-site variables, like Average Search Query and Title Similarity Index, tend to display a more linear pattern than off-site variables in relation to ranking.

Off-site variables such as External Backlinks, Citation Flow, and Referring Domains display a non-linear relationship, where the mean value for a given rank increases until ~10th position after which the trend reverses.

Part of this pattern for off-site variables is driven by social media websites. Removing social media websites changes the pattern.

Two hypotheses could be considered to explain the pattern for social media websites peaking at the ~10th position.

1. Users are downvoting social media websites

By clicking on them less often and as such Google simply down-ranking them as a result.

2. Social media websites have less relevant content.

Overall the relationships between ranking and other variables are weak due to the wide variance of each SEO metric for any given rank.

So, in conclusion, off-site metrics tend to display a piecewise pattern with a transition point at position 10, as can be seen below.

Disclaimer: The data displayed in this section is from January 16th 2021, and does not represent the current context but is included to show the overall context of the analyzed data.

Average External Backlinks Value Per Rank

Average External Backlinks Value Without Social Media
The red line marks the 10th position ranking on Google.

The average number of external backlinks tends to grow until the 10th SERP, then we see the drop.

However, removing social media domains changes the distribution for external backlinks with higher ranking positions tend to have more backlinks.

Social Media Listings are Potentially Skewing Results

Social media websites comprise only 0.003% of all unique domains but represent ~3 percent of all listings and ~ 70 percent of off-site metric value mass.

This means that social media listings exhibit a pattern of possibly skewing results. According to Investopedia “skewing means a distortion or asymmetry that deviates from the symmetrical bell curve, or normal distribution, in a set of data’.

Social Media Websites Proportion

Social Media Pages As A Proportion Of All Rankings

Machine Learning Analysis

Examining SHAP patterns showed that Search Query and Title Similarity Index seem to display a linear pattern in relation to ranking. While having higher Index values is associated with a higher likelihood to be ranked on the 1st page or rank higher on the first page. If you are not familiar with the concept of SHAP in Machine Learning, learn more in this article from Towards Data Science.

Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio is another important ranking factor according to the model, tends to show a penalty for low ratio values and being neutral past a certain threshold, this could be because domains with low Ratio values, tend to have a poor quality external backlink portfolios.

Highest External Backlinks (or Citation Flow) values are not necessarily associated with top ranking positions, but having lower values tends to be associated with lower rankings.

Ranked variables when all ranking factors are included:

Classification ML Model
The graph shows a list of ranked variables when all numeric variables are included.

After Organic Traffic, Search Query, and Title Similarity Index is the second most important variable for model performance, Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio is in the top 5, but neither Citation Flow, Trust Flow nor External Backlinks is in the top 20.

This is partly because the model uses other variables, such as Referring IPs or Referring Domains type HTTPS, which are highly correlated with the before mentioned ones, and being highly correlated among themselves would split the difference further diluting their contribution.

Importance of Ranking Factors According to ML

The graphs show variables in descending order as considered important in predicting rank. After extensive internal discussions, we decided to focus only on those factors we have the strongest influence.

Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio came out as the strongest predictor. However, the graph doesn’t show whether there is a linear relationship between the rank and variable value. Later in this article, we will present a deeper look into potential emerging patterns.

Classification ML Model 2
Data relevant to (|SHAP value|)

Low Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio is associated with lower rankings

Trust Flow To Citation Flow Ratio
Trust Flow To Citation Flow Ratio

By visually inspecting the ML models it can be seen that a lower TF/CF ratio is associated with lower rank predictions. Both Machine Learning models learned that lower Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratios is associated with lower rankings.

For the classification model, the threshold seems to be at ~0.5, where the majority of the values are below the 0 value (less likely to be on the first page) and stabilizing beyond that point – having both positive and negative values. Take note of the color gradient – pages with lower Citation Flow Values and Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio seem to be especially penalized.

Similar pattern holds for the Learn-to-Rank model, except for the ratio value where most of the SHAP values lie below the 0 lines being slightly below 1.

Learn To Rank ML Model

Higher Search Query and Title Similarity Index Values Are Associated With Higher Ranks

Search Query and Title Similarity Index display a rather straightforward linear relationship – higher values are associated with a higher likelihood of being on the 1st page. This is noteworthy as the ML model can learn any pattern to fit the data, yet the pattern is linear.

This pattern holds for both the classification and Learn-to-Rank models, meaning that both models find higher Search Query and Title Similarity Index values to be associated with higher ranks.

It corroborates the findings from the Linear Modeling and the Variable Relationships sections where it was shown to have the strongest association with our target variable – Ranking.

Search Query And Title Similarity Index

Learn To Rank Search Query

Citation Flow Displays A Non-Linear Pattern

The Classification ML model consistently displays a pattern where the highest contribution towards being classified on the 1st Page is in the range between 40-50. It holds, even if we switch out Citation Flow for External Backlinks, Trust Flow, Referring Domains, and sample different queries for model building. The pattern persists when we build an ML model with only a single input variable – Citation Flow.

Note that the data points with high SHAP Values (contribution towards being classified as being on the 1st page) tend to also have high Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratios. This is consistent with the findings investigating two-way variable relationships, which showed that the 1st page does not have on average the highest External Backlinks values – the 2nd page does.

SHAP Value For Citation Flow

SHAP Learn To Rank

Description Relevance Rank Is The Least Predictive

In comparison to other variables in the model, Description Relevance Rank seems to be the most weakly associated with the target variable and as such not very predictive. The variable is the rank ordering of the Search Result Description Text and the Search Query bm25 Score (an information retrieval metric) ranked for every query – the best matching description starting at 1 and increasing as the metric value decreases.

In the linear modeling section, the variable was statistically significant but with the smallest effect from selected variables, the same holds when using ML models. The variable displays a linear trend when classifying for the 1st-page ranking or ranking the full list (100 rankings per query), but no discernable pattern is visible when ranking the results of the first page.

SHAP Description To Query Learn To Rank SHAP Description To Query

Client Ranking Profile for Classification (Ranking on the 1st Page)

The red dots show where on the contribution scale (SHAP) our client‘s results lie. Due to them being one of the most ranking domains and have the highest mean and median rankings in the data set, it’s reasonable to assume that the results are biased towards their domain, assuming causality.

Citation Flow SHAP SHAP Search Query SHAP Description To Query CLIENT SHAP Trust Flow To Citation Flow Ratio

From off-site metrics in the model, the client seems to have rather good values, maybe having some improvement in the Trust Flow to Citation Flow Ratio. On-site metrics are query by query basis, but it seems, that there would be some gains to be had in those cases where the Search Query and Title Similarity Index value is low.

Further Analysis

The analysis as is found some significant factors associated with Ranking, but other potential factors could be relevant.

Online literature, like Cognitive SEO, as well as SME input, suggests that Recency (time since the article was published) is a potentially important variable, this analysis tried including the variable, but due to formatting inconsistency from the data supplier it was not feasible to do, with better quality data, it could be worthwhile including this variable in future research.

Another aspect worthwhile investigating is page-level content, such as text length, text relevance to query (BM25, TF-IDF), and others. An effort was put in to gather the HTML documents for all 274 952 ranking results (91 522 unique URLs), but too much data was missing, with non-random gaps in data (lower ranked results tended to have more data missing), which could have led to bias in the analysis.

This was partly because the scraping was done a few months after initial data gathering and because the ranking scraping and page scraping were done from different locales.

Plus, several sources, like the Search Engine Journal, suggest Page Load Speed is an important factor, this data was unavailable for this analysis, but future analyses could consider including it.

Another area of investigation which came up during this analysis was Content Accessibility Metrics as explanatory variables, but due to the same reason other page-level content metrics were not included, future research should consider including them.

Lastly, a more generic model would be warranted, this analysis was based on 2907 selected keywords where twinspires.com is already a well-ranking domain, as such the patterns learned from the data will be biased towards the domain (and other top-ranking domains).

Creating a model with other keywords (randomly selected or from other subject areas) could improve the generalizability of insight.

Remember that Fortis Media has been selected among the top SEO Companies by Designrush.

Click here and book your free audit with us.

SEO Tips

Top 10 SEO Tips for Sports Websites And Blogs in 2023

Updated: 1/18/2021

If you own a sports business – either a news platform, a sports betting website, or a sports merchandise online store – you surely know that it is a very competitive niche. Therefore, investing in a strong sports site SEO strategy is essential and you don’t need to become an SEO expert for that. The focus should be on optimizing your sports team website​ to improve your sports site SEO​.

Let’s start with the basics: it’s fundamental to diagnose why your page is not ranking as it should. You produce quality content on a daily or weekly basis and/or you sell quality products, so why are you not ranking higher on search engines?

It is highly likely that thousands of people search for products related to your niche every day. According to InternetLiveStats, Google processes 84.000 search queries every second!

To sum up, paraphrasing the iconic song Sweet Dreams, by Europhonics: ‘Everybody’s looking for something’!

Sports are no exception. People play sports, watch sports and bet on sports. Football, soccer, and basketball teams get thousands of retweets every time they make a new post. It’s a bubbly exciting world: perhaps too overcrowded with competitors, we’d say?

It is not easy to create a sports team website that is successful, mostly due to heavy competition. Most media sources around the globe have their own sports section and they dominate the first page of Google queries on general broad sports keywords.

Why is it so important for your sports website to rank high on Search Engines?

You want to attract people to read your articles and check your website’s products. Generating traffic will bring sponsors, clients, subscribers, and other opportunities that allow your business to grow.

However, just like in any sport: you have to define goals that you are looking to target. Are you looking to improve your sales? Lower the bounce rate so you have more returning visitors? Overtake a competitor’s first place in the sports SEO ranks for a specific keyword?

Defining goals is crucial because if you aim for a specific target you are more likely to score than if you shoot randomly. You might be lucky and get a breakthrough, but the wisest choice is to know exactly what you are looking for.

So, without further ado, here are Fortis Media top 10 tips for you to improve your sports website SEO rankings:

1. Find your niche

One of the most important reasons why we ask you what are your goals is that they are directly correlated to your niche. If you have a broad sports website and you just try to rank for the keyword: sports or sports betting, that quest will be nearly impossible.

Mainstream media and gambling pages are way ahead of you on that game and it is unlikely you can compete on that league.

Check our whitepaper that analyzes the most popular online betting brands and their SEO strategies.

However, if you offer products for specific sports or teams, you can target the fans of those niches. For example, check out the keyword related to the English soccer team Manchester United:

ahrefs manchester united transfers news
List of relevant keywords for Manchester United Credits: ahrefs.com

By using Ahrefs Keywords Explorer tool, you can search the relevant niche you are targetting and look for keyword opportunities where you can rank higher easily. In the image above you can see that ‘man utd transfer news‘ has 30k traffic volume, which means 17.000 people search for it monthly. Meanwhile, ‘manchester united news’ has a higher traffic volume, but the keyword difficulty is substantially higher.

So, if you are a starting business trying to rank on a specific niche you should look into keywords that fall under our first example: a medium or high traffic volume with low keyword difficulty is exactly what you should aim for.

2. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Do you know that during the first quarter of 2020, 51.92% of the internet’s traffic worldwide came from mobile devices? On Google, the numbers are even higher, with 60% of all internet searches coming from mobile gadgets.

If your website is not compatible with all smartphones or its design is just not mobile-friendly, you are likely to lose half of your potential clients.

That’s why it is fundamental to make sure that you are using a mobile compatible theme on your page and that all your website functionalities are available on the mobile version. This is not only a SEO tip for sports blogs, but for all kinds of websites who have the intention to increase their ranks.

mobile friendly traffic worldwide
Growth of mobile traffic worldwide from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2020.
Credits: Statista.com

3. Optimize your page speed

As important as improving your sports site SEO, optimizing your page’s speed is crucial to obtain better results. 40% of the users abandon the web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

With the eagerly competitive online sports market, you can’t allow yourself to lose such a high number of potential clients due to slow loading.

If you are a developer or you have developers working for you, make sure to put on the first order of business the decrease of loading time.

Also, small things like JPEG images instead of PNG or larger formats, help to increase the website speed. The heavier the media on your page (images, videos, etc), the more time it will take to load.

loading speed
SOASTA Research (2017) found out that the bounce rate probability increases by 32% for every loading second that passes. This means 32% of your audience does not intend to return a second or third time to your website.

4. Use Structured Data on Your Sports Website

Title tags are very important, as they are clickable headlines on the Search Engines. So, before you make a new piece of content, think about structuring it in a way that contains a hierarchy of titles.

H1 title should be the main title of your article or piece of content. It should contain the keyword you are trying to rank for, as it will give SERPS (Search Engines) the information on the most relevant subject of your page.

Inside the article, you should define topics to create a hierarchy of subtitles. They should be numbered as h2, h3, h4, h5, etc. A useful tool to help you do this task successfully is Yoast SEO, a plugin that you can install in WordPress and easily manage your content’s structure.

H1 tags hierarchy
H1 is the main tag, while the others represent subtitles.

5. Publish High-Quality Content

You probably think that in order to get better rankings and increase your audience you need to make a new article post every day. This is actually wrong.

In fact, there is no correlation between both factors, and overflowing your website with content is useless if your content is too short and poorly written.

So, invest instead on improving the content you already have and that is already ranking. Every time you refresh your content with new pieces of information or new hyperlinks, Google and other SERPs receive the information that your content is new.

SEO expert Neil Patel has recently said how he produces 10 pieces of content per month but refreshes 90 of his old articles per day.

Besides updating your old sports website blogposts daily, you should also make sure your content is authentic, original, and informative. Avoid plagiarizing other pages, as that IS NOT a good strategy to improve the SEO for sports blogs. Your content should also have the proper hierarchy and structure as we mentioned.

Finally, you might be wondering what is the average number of words your content should have. There is not a specific answer, as it depends on what kind of content you are producing. Although Google says that word count is not a ranking factor, long content (2500 words on average) seems to rank higher than short posts.

Just think about this: you can insert more links on long posts than short ones, which will come in handy as we will explain to you below.

6. Delete web pages that you don’t use

From a SEO perspective, deleting lots of the webpages inside of your sports blog is not always a good idea. Google can punish you with reduced rankings if you decide to delete several webpages.

However, it is likely you got some dead URLs and those might be affecting your page’s loading speed. As we mentioned above, loading speed is an essential feature that your website must have optimized.

There are two ways to deal with deadweight pages: you can redirect or kill them.

Redirecting means that once the viewer enters that page it will immediately take it to an active one. There are many kinds of redirects, with the most common being the 301. Read more about that here.

Killing a page means that you will send a message to Google and other search engines that you have deleted that page from existence. There are 2 ways of killing a page: with a 410 or a 404.

The most indicated way is 410. When you do a 410 you purge the page and Google immediately knows that it should be removed from its index.

Meanwhile, the 404 do not always get deleted from Google, but get buried in their archives. It’s that sort of page that you will find saying ‘404 URL: page not found’. Make sure that if you have 404 URLs on your sports website, they contain a link to the homepage so the user can return to navigate safely on your content. A search bar is also helpful in this situation.

7. Link to other web pages and websites

Inserting hyperlinks to credible sources on your content will help boost your sports blog SEO rankings. So, make sure to have plenty of “Click here” links, but do not place them randomly. They should fit into the context and help people expand their insight on a specific subtopic.

You should also add hyperlinks for your ‘call to action’ pages. If you add your website contacts, services or about us, chances are that people will click on it easily, instead of looking back at the top or bottom of the page.

You can also hyperlink to older pieces of content on your website, which will help those static older pages to remain fresh and grow on traffic.

8. Earn relevant and authoritative backlinks

The same way you post links of different sources on the web to give credibility to your article, every time some other page does the same with any of your links it will boost your rankings. Backlinks are necessary to improve the SEO of sports teams and sports team websites​.

If the backlink directing to your page on that other website has a specific keyword that you are trying to rank for, then it’s even better. That’s why keyword research comes in handy while optimizing your sports team website.

Fortis Media makes that off-site SEO work for you, searching for pages with enough credibility where you can place backlinks. We also do the keyword research, to save you time and help your sports team website to improve its ranks.

9. Leverage Social Media

The power of social media should not be underestimated. According to BrandWatch, 54% of Twitter users have answered they took action after seeing a brand mentioned in Tweets.

If you open Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and go to the pages of brands you love, you will see that their social media engagement is part of their success.

2017 social media marketing importance
Most brands worldwide invest their marketing budget into social media, as you can see in this graph from 2017.

Experts say that you should make a daily post on each of the 3 main social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and have icons for your social media pages visible on your sports blog.

You should, however, not abuse it. 3 or more tweets or Facebook posts per day will make you look desperate and you will lose engagement.

10. Do NOT forget meta-descriptions

Last, but not the least, you should always make sure that all the pages on your website have updated meta-descriptions. If you are not familiar with the concept of meta-description it is simply the little text under your title, that shows up every time you look for something on SERPs.

Despite Google claiming that meta-descriptions do not impact SEO rankings, they can indeed affect the click-through-rate. This means that a user is more likely to click on your page if the description is informative and explicit on the page’s content.

There are plenty of plugins on WordPress where you can easily edit your page’s meta-descriptions, including Yoast SEO, that we referred to before. Meta-descriptions should summarize the content of your article, without spoiling it completely.

They should also have a maximum of 120 characters and contain relevant keywords for which your sports blog website is trying to rank.

Is this all you need to create a successful sports team website​?

These are 10 tips to help increase your sports site SEO. However, there are many more factors to have into account: and we can help you find solutions for your sports website problems and we also provide SEO tips for casino and betting businesses.

Fortis Media agency is always focused on obtaining the best results for its clients and we welcome you to work with us, so we can help you achieve your goals faster. Click here for a Free SEO Audit!

Marketing Strategies

E-Commerce: How to Optimize Paid Media Strategy for Christmas

The holiday period is the most profitable time of the retail year, and it provides online stores with a great opportunity to maximize sales. 

Seasonal promotions build the momentum to attract new customers and impress the existing ones. From special offers to product bundles, they cheer up customers for upcoming celebrations. By tapping into their potential, you can build the rapport to sustain your business in quieter times. 

However, as a business owner, you should avoid the pitfalls of poorly-planned holiday campaigns and dedicate more time to your paid media strategies. Your promotional calendar should reserve a few weeks to prepare for the peak season. This way, you will account for the initial ad setup, creation of digital assets, and any scope creeps that might arise throughout your marketing initiatives.

In this article, we’ll outline top paid media strategies to gear up your marketing efforts for the most amazing season:

Offer Last-Minute Shipping

With the holiday season approaching, you should welcome last-minute shoppers with compelling sales incentives. According to Klarna, 79% of shoppers put off gift shopping until the last two weeks leading up to Christmas. This means that most of your store visitors will be busy with their to-do lists and rush to make a purchase.

Given that, major retailers offer free or next-day shipping options before Christmas, as 1 in 3 last-minute shoppers base their gift purchases on delivery speed. Last-minute deals provide the final push needed for conversions – they incentivize consumers to make purchases at peace, without any extra costs or delays.

Below, we have gathered some of the last-minute shipping incentives that your e-commerce business can offer:

Threshold Free Shipping (TFS) Policy

Many retailers introduce a minimum purchase quantity for consumers to be eligible for free shipping. This is referred to as threshold free shipping (TFS) policy, which bestows the shipping costs upon the e-retailer for “orders equal to or larger than a certain dollar amount.”

To illustrate, Amazon features a free shipping threshold for orders over $25 that urges the consumer to purchase more products to ‘unlock’ free shipping. This is a proven strategy, as 68% of consumers often spend more than they intend to in order to qualify for free delivery. 

While you can adopt the same TFS policy for your e-commerce store, it’s important to keep in mind that as the peak season approaches, shipping costs may skyrocket and seriously harm your bottom line. Yet, you can customize the strategy to your margins – this will reduce the impact on the bottom line and increase conversions. 

 
Target Loyal Customers With Free Shipping

Customer loyalty not only enhances your sales figures but also ensures sustainable, long-term growth for your business. For this reason, you should factor it into your plans for holiday promotions by rewarding repeat buyers with exclusive perks.

To increase sales, you can offer your loyal customers free shipping as a limited-time incentive. This way, you will remove the friction to the online shopping experience exclusively for returning customers, boosting the average order value in the short run. In the long run, similarly, the promotional tactic will nurture a group of loyal buyers and further increase their lifetime value. 


Feature Special Deals for Christmas

While free shipping has proven to increase average order volume by 97%, the possibilities of shopping incentives don’t end here. To boost sales this Christmas, you can offer product bundles, value packs, and various limited-time deals to your customers. 

Given that, we have compiled 3 promotional ideas that will increase your sales:


Buy One Get One Free (BOGO)

“Buy One, Get One Free” is a form of sales promotion, where customers receive a free discounted product if they purchase another product. While this traditional tactic may come off as too promotional or ‘salesy’, you can put a unique spin on it and make it more captivating.

Particularly, you can craft a BOGO deal that’s relevant to the holiday season or is personalized. Seasonality and personalization will ensure that the promotion resonates better with the target customer and their purchasing intent.

Besides, you can introduce different variations of this deal, such as “Buy X, Get Y in Return”, “Buy X, Get a Discount Coupon for X’s Value”, etc. Regardless of the variation, the BOGO deal will carry the sense of urgency needed to fuel last-minute holiday purchases. 

Holiday Product Bundles

To clear out old inventory and generate more sales, many businesses opt for product bundling, combining several products into a single package. The bundle offers products at a lower price than if purchased individually. When accompanied by a sense of holiday urgency, it instills the ‘fear of missing out’ in your target audience, urging them to grab the limited-time opportunity.

To create a successful product bundle, experts recommend finding a secondary product that compliments your best-selling product. Alternatively, the bundle can feature winning product combinations, which are frequently purchased together.

“12 Days of Christmas” 

‘12 Days of Christmas’ is a promotional campaign, in which an exciting deal is unveiled every day for the span of 12 days. Think of this tactic as an advent calendar – the campaign builds anticipation until the holiday, adding a countdown element to your Christmas marketing campaign.


The ‘12 Days of Christmas’ campaign entices the consumer with fleeting discounts – whether it’s a piece of content or a discount coupon, every offer disappears within 24 hours. So, if your online store visitors are interested in the offer of the day, they will have to purchase it on that day, as otherwise, it will expire.

Some of the daily ‘12 Days of Christmas’ campaign offers could include:

  • Limited-edition product lines
  • Surprise giveaways
  • Loyalty points for purchases
  • Christmas wish lists

Optimize Your Pinterest Account

Holiday shoppers are turning to for gift ideas when they don’t have a specific gift in mind. Luckily, Pinterest offers thousands of curated collections, product pictures, and visual search options, which are at the heart of every Christmas purchase. These elements make the platform a crucial element of any successful e-commerce paid media campaign.

Besides, gift hunters turn to Pinterest because of its simplicity. If a user is looking for a particular gift idea this Christmas, the platform will pop up multiple options in a matter of a quick search.


In fact, the platform exclusively attracts those looking for shopping inspiration, since Pinterest users are 90% more likely to report that they’re always shopping. They’re also 30% more likely to express their love for shopping. This molds Pinterest into a hidden goldmine for e-commerce stores like yours that seek to boost their holiday campaigns.

Here’s how to leverage the power of Pinterest to maximize sales this holiday season:

Tap Into the Power of Rich Pins

Rich pins are an SEO-oriented element of Pinterest, which gets overlooked by many. They can be used to hold metadata, such as keywords, phrases, and even logos, from your online store. Rich pins automatically sync information from your website to your Pinterest pins and are available in different categories like product, article, recipe, movie, and place.

Put simply, rich pins communicate what your products are about. That is, they provide context for purchases and grant your e-commerce business a competitive edge. They not only equip consumers with helpful, informative, and compelling copy about your products but also bring relevancy to your online store. 

Rich pins help your online business get searchable with niche-specific keywords, ranking your products higher for relevant search queries. They also direct your Pinterest visitors to your online store in the least possible steps. 

Given that, make sure to optimize your rich pins with up-to-date metadata. This way, your product pins will feature the most recent information on pricing, stock availability, and product variants, making it convenient for customers to purchase your products. 

Prepare Holiday-Themed Digital Assets

When it comes to Pinterest, the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, is especially true. So, before you embark on the Pinterest marketing journey, ensure that your graphics are sophisticated, targeted, and seasonal.

This holiday season, your content is more likely to get pinned by users if it’s Christmas-themed. Similar to search engine queries, users will enter phrases like “Christmas recipes”, “Christmas ideas”,  and “gift ideas for…” to obtain helpful information. For this reason, you should prepare content ideas that will fulfill your audience’s needs.

Whether it’s blog articles, infographics, or rich pins, you should incorporate holiday symbolism into your regular product pictures and assist Pinterest users with gift shopping.

Experts recommend switching up your product pictures with lifestyle photography, demonstrating your products in alternate environments, and featuring them with seasonal ornaments. So, make sure that your images radiate the holiday spirit, taking pictures of your products with Christmas lights, in front of the fireplace, or simply embellished with holiday clipart. 

Utilize Keywords

Using the right keywords on Pinterest can improve your search ranking and drive traffic to your online store. To leverage the power of organic searches, you should use keywords across your Pinterest profile, pin descriptions, board titles, and image alt-texts. This way, your products will be matched with common search queries and get more exposure.

To choose the right keywords, simply search the platform for products in your niche or use the plugin Keywords Elsewhere for search term rankings. Once you delve into the popularity of your niche-specific keywords, you can insert them strategically and maximize the visibility of your products. 

As a paid media strategy, you can reach your target audience through Pinterest ads that allow for keyword targeting. Whether they’re holiday-related or niche-specific, you can meticulously format keywords to target your ideal customer. To illustrate, you can narrow down on specific searches using exact match keywords, while incorporating broad match ones to reach a wider audience.

Conclusion

Christmas is around the corner, and it’s about time you launch a festive paid media campaign for your e-commerce store. From shipping policies to keyword optimization on Pinterest, you can market your products to your audience with seasonal, niche-specific, and visually appealing deals. With the right strategy, you can rank your e-commerce business higher in relevant search queries and generate more sales. 

To build up anticipation for the holidays, we recommend revamping your Pinterest account, offering last-minute shipping incentives, and launching special deals. While implementing these promotional strategies, keep in mind the psychographic data of your audience members – knowing their gender, age, location, hobbies, likes, and dislikes will help you launch personalized offers.

Are you ready to further enhance the digital presence of your online store? At Fortis Media, we help e-commerce businesses boost their visibility online and stand out from the competition. To learn more about our paid media services, click here.

Marketing Strategies

Quick Guide To Google Analytics 4 For Marketing Agencies

If you are a digital marketer and you don’t live under a rock, you probably know by now that Google launched Google Analytics 4.

However, many marketers are still questioning if the change is worth the hassle. Well, the answer is yes. You definitely should read this article and also take Google’s free GA4 training to learn about all the new features and the changes that are coming.

After 15 years with Google Universal Analytics without almost any update, Google decides to adapt itself to the market and releases a new tool that changes basically… everything. There is a new interface, metrics, data collection, installation and more.

Plus, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is now prepared not only for websites but also for Apps, because nowadays there is no more web analytics but digital analytics.

Why Do You Need To Switch From UA To GA4?

If you are not using GA4 and you are trusting that you have time until July 2023, you are completely wrong. The data from your current Google Analytics DOES NOT TRANSFER for the new version. So you need to create a new account. Plus, the two versions will not coexist: Google Universal Analytics is going to be dead and buried after next July and you will not have access to it anymore.

And the change is completely understandable and perfectly timed. Even though Universal Analytics was a great tool to track your website’s engagement, GA4 does much more. It can integrate marketing and e-commerce websites, as well as native web apps that can give a broader analysis of how the users interact with your brand.

This happens because more and more web browsers are blocking ads and third-party cookies are step by step becoming obsolete.

Google Analytics Web App
Credits: Google

So, considering this change is inevitable and useful for companies to adapt to the new digital era, the web 4.0, how should you configure Google Analytics 4?

To Configure Google Analytics 4:

  • Create Google Analytics 4 Property

    You can use GA4 Setup Assistant here and follow the instructions one by one.

  • Find Your Google Tag

To do this simply login into your Google Analytics account and click Admin. Select property > data streams > web. View tag instructions under Google Tag. Select install manually on the installation instructions page and you should see the JavaScript snippet for your tag. It should start like <!– Google tag (gtag.js) –> and end with </script>.

  • Insert Tag In Your WordPress Website

If you have a WordPress website, install WPCode Plugin. Then go to Code Snippets and Header & Footer. You can now add an HTML code to your page header, so paste the Google Tag that you picked before here. Do the same thing in the ‘body’ section.

You can use Google Tag Manager for an easier setup.

New Features In GA4

There are many new features that are worth mentioning in GA4. Here are some of the most noteworthy that you should take note.

1. Explorations

This new feature allows you to interpret data in more detail. It uses a variety of techniques, including funnel exploration, path exploration, and free-form exploration, which help you to uncover insights.

2. BigQuery Export

You can now safely export your data to the cloud. Export your Analytics data to BigQuery and combine it with data from other sources. You can also run queries through all data sets.

3. Event-Based Model

If in UA the data was stored in sessions, now it changed to events. This means that before the data was grouped by user interactions that were taking place within a specific time frame. One single session could contain numerous hits, depending on how users interacted with the website.

Now, however, the session-based model will be obsolete. GA4 uses an event-based model, collecting and sending pieces of information that are more specific to the profile of the user. Such information can be the value of a purchase, the geolocation, and the titles of the pages the user visited.

So the event-based model will have an ongoing profile of each user, both on the web and apps, showing their usual behavior as a viewer and potential customer, instead of separating it into different sessions that are not connected.

Session based model vs Event based model

4. Reporting

In Google Universal Analytics reporting was quite limited across devices and across platforms. The new GA4 has completely changed that and it supports full-cross devices and cross-platform reporting.

So, instead of having separately reports of web and app users, you can now have both in the same report, showing relations in behavior between users of different devices and platforms.

5. Automation

While Google UA had very limited automation, GA4 is on the right track to keep up with the new era of the internet, the web 4.0.

Using machine-learning technology, Google is looking to improve and simplify insight discovery.

6. Audiences

One major change in Google Analytics concerns audiences. What are audiences? They are a group of users that you identify based on specific characteristics that are important to your business.

You can segment people by age group or by their preferences. Maybe they are sports fans, travel addicts, or shopping enthusiasts?! With audiences, you can track those features and divide them into specific groups. You can identify your audiences based on IDs sent to Analytics.

How To Identify Audiences In Google Analytics 4?

1. User-ID

One of the ways you can identify your audience is through their user-id. This is a customer-generated ID that is used to distinguish users in different categories, while also joining them in user events, that are useful for reporting and exploration.

2. Google Signals

If a user has turned on Ad Personalization to see ads targeted to their specific needs you will be able to use Google Signals to identify them.

These are session data from sites and apps, that Google associates with visitors that signed with their Google accounts and have the personalized ads feature enable.

3. Device ID

Since GA4 is all about cross-platform and cross-device, you will now be able to see a device ID for each user and thus be able to group audiences based on their preferred devices.

Either if they are browser-based or mobile-app-based, they will have their own identifier. When visiting a website the device ID gets its value through the client ID property of the _ga cookie.

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide was useful for you to learn why you should change to GA4 as soon as possible, as well as everyone in your company or marketing team.

The changes might seem sudden and scary, but once you look at them they all make sense in the context of how the web is progressing into a new digital era.

If you have any further questions or doubts about how to implement GA4 in your company and on why you should do it, contact us and we will try to help you move forward.